Saturday, June 9, 2012

Attack of the Biro

Stardate: 090612

Two more covers from my “massive” mailshot have just dropped through the letterbox. Two envelopes with the Three Crosses, Swansea first day cancel. The envelopes were stamped and posted in Exeter by a member of staff at the Bedford Street Branch on my behalf. My thanks to the manager and staff there and at the other offices who have responded to my mailshot request.

The receipts have the PO oval that has been adopted as standard since the V2 software update. The address has a minor variation from the normal. The first line has the street name in lower case. The rest is in normal upper and lower case. The postcode has no gap between the outward and inward parts of the postcode. The data is presented below in the same format as the tables in previous blogs

K1 84953 Flag
K2 --------
K3 --------
Kiosk 1: First line of address in lower case on receipt. Rest as normal. No space in the postcode

The big problem with the envelopes occurred downstream from the post office and the special handstamp centre. It probably happened in the “last mile”. Someone attacked the faststamps with a biro!!!!

Royal Mail – You do a great job and you have some wonderful staff but it is a pity that one or two let you down. Unfortunately, that happens in many organisations – a lot of work and excellent service by the many is let down by the odd one.

Under normal circumstances, this would not be a problem. Most people would discard the envelope as its contents would be the most relevant part of the item. For stamp collectors, the stamp and/or the envelope are important. With normal first day covers, one can return the cover and get a replacement. Normal stamps do not have an indication as to when they were sold printed on them but faststamps do. A replacement from this office and kiosk would have a session number in the order of 86000 plus given that more than two weeks have since passed since the day of release whereas I would estimate genuine first day items from this office to have session numbers in the approximate range 84900 to 85000.

I started a number of websites to document the usage of these Wincor-Nixdorf kiosks and to try to assist collectors determine the validity of the items that they are being offered. These websites are:

If you can help by filling in the large gaps in data on each kiosk that has been used, either leave a comment on this blog site or email me at

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